Two Degrees of Facebook

So, we all know the theory of Six Degrees of Separation, right? And probably its derivative Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. (Excuse the use of Wikipedia but I’m not explaining rocket science. And if it’s good enough for our Federal Environment Minister to use to disprove a link between climate change and increased bushfire intensity then I think I’m safe in this instance.)

Let me assume that it doesn’t take a mathematician (I am one but that’s irrelevant) to work out that this theory is seriously out of date in this age of social media.

It all came home to me when I inadvertently wandered into the ‘People You May Know’ section of Facebook.

I was bored so I scrolled down the list. Lots of people I kind of know, lots of people I don’t know at all but are friends with my friends so Facebook (who wants the whole world to be friends, bless ’em) thinks I should be friends with them too, and people I know who are friends with other people I know but whom I did not know were friends with the people I know.

It’s all a little bit creepy.

And then there’s the suggestion of people you don’t know and who also seem not to have any mutual friends in common. What’s with that?

I usually try to be friends with people I want to be Friends with (with a capital F) so I ignored Facebook’s suggestions.

And having recently learned that a flesh and blood, pre-social media, long-term friend has just been through a really rough time, I think my energies are best spent on those with whom I have a Real Life One Degree of Separation relationship. But thanks anyway, Facebook.

FB Friends Sesame Street

Six Degrees of Sesame Street (I’d be friends with these folks – especially that fabulous Mr S.)



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15 thoughts on “Two Degrees of Facebook

  1. I struggle with the whole *friend* thing on FB. I’ve received many friend requests from people who make me question ‘why?’. It makes me very uncomfortable. What a strange and artificial world!


  2. I don’t do the whole Facebook thing….I agree with you….it’s just seemed kind of creepy to me from the day I first heard about it…..what’s wrong with making “real” friends in the “real” world? I don’t know. I think I’m not keeping up too well on things…….


      • True enough….though I’m aghast at some of the “rights” Facebook and Google have allowed themselves lately… just keeps getting more and more intrusive it seems to me no matter how much you try and hold it at bay…Well, that’s my view anyway from over here with no first-hand knowledge of actually using it! 🙂


  3. I have rules – boundaries – but the bit I’ve found confronting recently is when people from my past, who considered themselves real world friends, reinitiate contact and either send a Friend Request or clearly have the expectation that I’ll Friend Request them – and I don’t want to. Some friends belong in the past, for good reasons, and some “friends” never were. I could accept their Request and organise my settings so they’re invisible nonparticipants, but I’ve made the decision to simply stay true to my guiding principle: I don’t have any fb Friends who I don’t genuinely think of as friends.


    • I think you have to be allowed to manage it in the way you see fit. But a Debrett’s Guide to Facebook Manners wouldn’t go astray.
      (Funnily enough, I logged in to FB this morning to find out one of the girls I looked after as an au pair more than 20 years ago just got married. There were photos. We’re not friends in the true sense but I’m still interested in how the family is going. This is when I like what FB provides.)


  4. Oh,how I loathe Facebook. I can’t STAND the way it constantly tries to steer its member in various directions that will, one sceptically assumes, benefit it in some fiscal way. However, I will admit that it can be a useful quick tool for people who need to keep in touch – provided that those at the other end are equally ready to enter the dreaded realms … For M-R the ancient, I find that blogging is the medium that provides anyone who knows me with everything they could possibly want to know – and MUCH MORE !!! [grin]


  5. I’ve always ignored that feature of Facebook. I think I know who I want to be friends with. What I have a hard time with is missing an important post from a friend because FB decided it wasn’t that important. Drives me crazy.


    • Oh, I know! I hate that. If you click on the drop down arrow next to News Feed on your Home page, you can change it from Top Stories to Most Recent and I think that stops that. But you have to keep checking because it reverts.


  6. I know so little about fb I’m pitiful in modern terms. Use it to keep up with family photos, mainly. But the idea that I’ll be ‘friends’ with people I know nothing about is laughable. Stop poking your noses into my life, you upstarts!


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